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Libertarian Alliance: Scrap all drink and driving laws

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  • Sean Gabb
    NEWS RELEASE FROM THE LIBERTARIAN ALLIANCE In Association with the Libertarian International Release Date: Monday 7th December 2007 Release Time: Immediate
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 7, 2009
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      In Association with the Libertarian International

      Release Date: Monday 7th December 2007
      Release Time: Immediate

      Contact Details:
      Dr Sean Gabb, 07956 472 199, sean@...

      For other contact and link details, see the foot of this message


      The Libertarian Alliance, the radical free market and civil liberties
      think tank and pressure group, today calls on the British Government to
      repeal all laws against drinking and driving. Drivers should be free to
      drink as much alcohol as they like before and while driving. The Police
      should be allowed to intervene only if a driver appears from his actions
      to be a danger to other road users, or if he causes an accident.

      Dr Sean Gabb, Director of the Libertarian Alliance, comments:

      "The current law on drinking and driving is a prior restraint law. It can
      only be enforced by indiscriminate stops and searches. Most of the drivers
      stopped are not driving erratically and do not test positive. This is a
      breach of the Common Law prohibition of searches and seizures, except by
      judicial warrant and on evidence of some specific criminal behaviour.

      "Moreover, every officer assigned to looking for drivers over the limit is
      one officer fewer to catch real criminals. This is specially the case at
      Christmas, which has lately become carnival a time for burglars and
      muggers. There are fewer officers around to deter them, and fewer to go
      looking for them after the event.

      "Much of the propaganda against drinking and driving has nothing to do
      with reducing injuries to life and property, and everything to do with
      making it harder to enjoy a drink in good company.

      "If we want to reduce the number of deaths on the roads, drinking and
      driving should not in itself be a crime. It should be possible for a
      person to drink a bottle of whisky, get into a car and drive away - and
      the authorities should have no power to stop this.

      "Punishment should only come if a driver is so erratic that he is plainly
      dangerous - or if an accident is caused. But it should then in this latter
      case be very severe punishment.

      "In general, we believe in real punishments for real crimes. Unless a real
      crime can be shown, we believe in telling the police to mind their own


      Note(s) to Editors

      Dr Sean Gabb is the Director of the Libertarian Alliance and edits its
      journal Free Life. His book, Smoking, Class and the Legitimation of Power,
      is available at Amazon. His other books are available from Hampden Press
      at http://www.hampdenpress.co.uk.

      His longer opinions on drinking and driving can be read here:

      He can be contacted for further comment on 07956 472 199 or by email at

      Extended Contact Details:

      The Libertarian Alliance is Britain's most radical free market and civil
      liberties policy institute. It has published over 700 articles, pamphlets
      and books in support of freedom and against statism in all its forms.
      These are freely available at http://www.libertarian.co.uk

      Our postal address is

      The Libertarian Alliance
      Suite 35
      2 Lansdowne Row
      W1J 6HL
      Tel: 07956 472 199

      Associated Organisations

      The Libertarian International - http://www.libertarian.to - is a sister
      organisation to the Libertarian Alliance. Its mission is to coordinate
      various initiatives in the defence of individual liberty throughout the

      Sean Gabb's personal website - http://www.seangabb.co.uk - contains about
      a million words of writings on themes interesting to libertarians and

      Hampden Press - http://www.hampdenpress.co.uk.- the publishing house of
      the Libertarian Alliance.

      Liberalia - http://www.liberalia.com - maintained by by LA Executive
      member Christian Michel, Liberalia publishes in-depth papers in French and
      English on libertarianism and free enterprise. It is a prime source of
      documentation on these issues for students and scholars.
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